Text and photos by Rachel Morin
I joined my son and his wife, Gerry and Debbie Bolen-Morin of Turner, to see their town’s annual Fourth of July Parade, followed by events on the green, that they have been enjoying and raving about for years. I’m glad I did. It was a great day. I felt as if I had stepped back in time to be a part of the camaraderie of a small country town.
Over 1,000 spectators lined the street for the colorful parade and applauded as the American Legion Post 111 Honor Guard led the way, followed by a contingent of marching veterans and a veterans’ float. The parade participants included an impressive lineup of fire trucks and emergency vehicles from Buckfield, Canton, Greene, Leeds, Mechanic Falls, Turner and Wales.
Floats, antique cars, horseback riders, horse-drawn buggies and wagons, children on bicycles and children walking, farm tractors of all models, sizes and vintage, and a representation of Kora Motor Corps vehicles added to the nearly hour-long procession.
Afterwards, crowds moved “On the Green” to listen to the Strawberry Shortcake Band while enjoying a Strawberry Shortcake Social. Children played at outdoor games set up for them. Ticket vendors sold raffle tickets, to benefit local community projects, for a trip to Italy and an upcoming tour of Turner gardens. A book sale at Turner Public Library did a brisk business, with proceeds benefitting the library.
As they are every Fourth of July following the parade, buildings housing the Dort Bigg Collection of mounted animals from around the world were opened to the public for a free viewing, and scores of folks took the opportunity to see the collection.